Regulators close banks in Florida, Washington

Regulators closed banks in Florida and Washington Friday night, bringing the total number of bank failures this year to 127.

The failure of Haven Trust Bank Florida, based in the Jacksonville, Fla. suburb of Ponte Vedra Beach, cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s insurance fund about $31.9 million. Haven Trust was the 24th Florida bank to fail in 2010.

The institution will be taken over by Boca Raton's First Southern Bank.

At the time of its closure, Haven Trust had $148.6 million in assets and $133.6 million in deposits. It was only four years old.

In February, the FDIC took enforcement action against the bank. Regulator ordered Haven Trust to boost its capital and charge off its "doubtful" assets. The bank was also prohibited from significantly growing its assets under the terms of the order.

The bank had net operating losses of $3.2 million through the first half of 2010 -- an improvement over its $7.2 million in losses in the first half of 2009.

Also closing Friday was North County Bank in Arlington, Wash., located about 50 miles north of Seattle.

That institution had four branches, $288.8 million in assets and $276.1 million in deposits. Its failure cost the insurance fund $72.8 million.

On June 24, the FDIC issued one of its most severe types of enforcement against the bank, declaring it "significantly undercapitalized."

By then, according to regulators, bank management had shown that it was unable to return the institution to a safe condition. The regulator gave the bank a month to either sell enough shares to become recapitalized or find a new owner.

The bank had net operating losses of $3 million through the first half of the year, compared to its losses of $363,000 in the first half of 2009.

Whidbey Island Bank, of Oak Harbor, Wash., is taking over North County. The failure marked Washington's ninth failure in 2010.

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